Antonin Kubalek
Gerard Kantarjian
Coenraad Bloemendal
Dana Campbell
Alex Gremmelspacher


a tribute to vita kapralova


OCTOBER 6, 2000 AT 8:00 PM



de l'Eglise Saint - Etienne - du - Mont, op.16 (1938)
THEME and Variation:
I. Poco vivo
II. Allegretto
III. Lento ma non troppo
IV. Quasi etude vivo
V. Choral
VI. Allegro e coda


LEGENDA / LEGEND, op. 3/a (1932)
BURLESKA / BURLESQUE, op. 3/b (1932)
for violin and piano


JABLKO S KLINA / APPLE FROM THE LAP, op. 10 (1934-1936)
Song cycle on texts by Jaroslav Seifert

Pisen na vrbovou pistalku / Song for a Willow Whistle (1934)
Ukolebavka / Lullaby (1936)
Bezvetri / The Calm (1936)
Jarni pout / Spring Fair (1936)


I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Andante
III. Andante semplice
IV. Vivo


RITOURNELLE, op. 25 (1940)
pour violoncelle et piano


You can listen to the entire program on

About the program:

Kapralova composed Variations sur le Carillon de l'Eglise St. Etienne du Mont, op. 16, for piano in February 1938, shortly after her 23rd birthday. The work is considered her finest for solo piano and was admired by Bohuslav Martinu who helped to have it published by La Sirene Editions Musicales in Paris the same year. The work was given its first performance by Professor Ludvik Kundera at a concert of the Brno Conservatory on 27.3.1938.

Elegy for violin and piano, originally titled In Memoriam to mourn the death of Czech writer Karel Capek, was composed in Paris on 2.2.1939. It was first performed by Jan Sedivka (violin) and the 24-year-old composer herself (pno.) on 28.2.1939 in Paris.

Kapralova was only seventeen when she composed Legend, op. 3/1, for violin and piano. Originally titled Mood, the work was finished in spring 1932 and premiered by Jan Lorenc (violin) and Frantisek Jilek (pno.) at a concert of the Brno Conservatory on 9.5.1933.

Kapralova dedicated Burlesque, op. 3/2 for violin and piano (from 1932) to Dr. Magda Kuhnova, a friend of Kapralova's family. The work was premiered by Jan Lorenc and Frantisek Jilek in Brno on 9.5.1933, and published the same year by Brno publisher Old. Pazdirek.

Apple from the Lap, op. 10 is a cycle of four songs on texts by Jaroslav Seifert. Kapralova composed the songs in 1936 when she was twenty-one, and dedicated them to their first interpreter, professor Masa Fleisherova, who performed them with Ludvik Kundera in Prague on 17.12.1936, at a concert organized by Pritomnost Society. One of the songs, Lullaby, was published in 1936 in the women's magazine Eva. The complete cycle was published a year later by HMUB in Prague.

Kapralova composed April Preludes, op. 13, for piano in spring 1937, at the time she was finishing her studies at the Prague Conservatory. A year later, the work was published by HMUB in Prague. Kapralova dedicated the four preludes to Rudolf Firkusny hoping that he would give it its premiere. The preludes failed to attract Firkusny's attention at first, so it was Dana Setkova who premiered the work, at a concert of Pritomnost Society in Prague on 5.10.1937. Firkusny did perform the work later in Paris, on 28.1.1940, at a concert of La Societe de la Musique Contemporaine. Programmed along chamber works by Stravinsky and Roussel, the composition was received enthusiastically by the audience of musicians and composers, and also won critical acclaim. The success of the work prompted Firkusny to commission another piano work from Kapralova, her Two Dances for Piano, op. 23.

Ritournelle, op. 25, for violoncello and piano (from the cycle Deux ritournelles, op. 25). The last and arguably the best chamber work of Kapralova was finished in Paris on 11.5.1940, about a month before her untimely passing at the age of 25. Of the two pieces only one exists thanks to the pianist Hermann Grab who brought a copy to the United States. Originally both pieces were to be given their premiere by Hermann Grab and Karel Neumann in Paris on 29.5.1940, but the concert was cancelled and the work was premiered by Karel Neumann and Vilem Tausky a year later in London.

About the artists:

Antonin Kubalek is one of the finest pianists of his generation. He studied under Frantisek Maxian at the Prague Academy of Music, won several prestigious awards in Eastern Europe and an Honors Diploma from the Enesco International Music Festival in Bucharest. In the 1960s he was a professor at the Prague Conservatory and recorded extensively for Supraphon. In 1968 he emigrated to Canada where he continued his career performing frequently with the Toronto Symphony and other orchestras. He has made numerous recordings for the Dorian label and has been featured in many concert broadcasts of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has the distinction of being the only artist to have made a recording produced by Glenn Gould (the second Piano sonata by Korngold).

Gerard Kantarjian's career as a concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician has taken him to the world's major concert stages. Following his graduation from the Curtis Institute, Mr. Kantarjian was awarded the distinction of a "laureate" at the Queen Elizabeth International Competition in Brussels, a prize which led to recitals and performances with numerous European orchestras. He was chosen by Leopold Stokowski as the first concertmaster of the American Symphony, and subsequently was the concertmaster with the Toronto Symphony under Seiji Ozawa. He has also performed for many seasons with the Casals Festival Orchestra. As soloist, he has appeared among others with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Coenraad Bloemendal was born in Amsterdam and studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Holland's leading cellist Carel van Leeuwen Boomkamp. After graduating, he came to the United States to complete his studies with Janos Starker and William Primrose at Indiana University. In 1971 Mr. Bloemendal moved to Canada, joining the Camerata Canada chamber ensemble. He quickly established himself as one of the country's outstanding cellists. As a soloist, he has played the Beethoven Triple, and the Dvorak, Schumann and Haydn Cello Concerti. His performances with Glenn Gould on CBC Television's "Music in Our Time" led to other collaborations with the pianist, and have now been released on CD by Sony. The two solo albums, "Duos for Cello and Bass" with the double bass virtuoso Joel Quarrington on the Crystal label, and "The Cantorial Voice of the 'Cello" on the Dorian label, have been critically acclaimed. In 1986 Mr. Bloemendal founded the Rembrandt Trio with violinist Gerard Kantarjian and pianist Valerie Tryon. They have recorded extensively on the Dorian label.

Soprano Dana Campbell is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and alumnus of the Royal Conservatory of Music Glenn Gould Professional School. When she won the Wilfrid Laurier University Concerto Competition in 1994, she was chosen by Maestro Chosei Komatan to perform with his esteemed Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has sung with the Virtuosi di Toronto at the George Weston Recital Hall. In Spring 1998 she toured central Italy as a featured soloist with Toronto's Palestrina Chamber Chorus . In addition to the WLU Concerto Competition she has participated successfully in various music contests, including the Edward Johnson Music Competition and the Canadian Music Competition. Ms Campbell currently studies with Jean MacPhail.

Axel Gremmelspacher was born in Freiburg, Germany. From 1991 to 1993 he studied piano under Prof. Robert Levin at Musikhochschule Freiburg, and during 1994 he continued his studies with two semesters at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Between 1994 and 1999 Mr. Gremmelspacher studied in the studios of Prof. James Avery and Prof. David Wilde, at the music schools in Freiburg and Hannover. This education was complemented by masterclasses and chamber music lessons with Leon Fleisher, Gilbert Kalish, Christoph Poppen and Hansheinz Schneeberger. In 1999 Mr. Gremmelspacher received a Rotary Foundation scholarship to study in Toronto under Prof. John Perry at the Royal Conservatory of Music Glenn Gould Professional School .

We wish to thank our artists: Coenraad Bloemendal, Dana Campbell, Axel Gremmelspacher, Gerard Kantarjian, Antonin Kubalek; our volunteers: Dr. Eugene Gates (speaker), Ludmila Hatrick (translator), Hsiao Huang (page-turner), and Jenny Matys and Martina Dobson (tickets); and our sponsors: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Karel and Olga Velan, Milos and Ludmila Strapec and Hartl Sala LLP, Chartered Accountants, without whom this event would not have been possible.
We also wish to thank the York University Faculty of Music for assisting us with the concert recording.

From reviews:

A Tribute to Vita Kapralova byl skvely koncert ve vyprodanem sale torontskeho klubu The Arts and Letters Club dne 6. rijna 2000. Pianista Antonin Kubalek docilil snad jeste vyssi umeleckou hloubku sveho vyrazu nez v minulosti. Vybral ctyri kolegy, houslistu Gerarda Kantarjiana, sopranistku Danu Campbell, celistu Coenraada Bloemendala a klaviristu Axela Gremmelspachera. Vsichni se zrekli honorare. Ocenil jsem velmi dobry vyber skladeb, rozmanitost nastroju, prekvapive mistrovstvi mlade sopranistky zpivajici Seifertovy verse v Kapralove skladbe "Jablko s klina". Ocenil jsem nezistnou praci Karly Hartlove, ktera s nekolika vitanymi mecenasi a mnoha dobrovolniky pripravila skutecnou kulturni udalost. From a review by Joseph Drapell in New Homeland, 21 October 2000, p.10.

Koncert Vitezslavy Kapralove. Velky sal The Arts and Letters Club byl 6. rijna svedkem nevsedni udalosti. Torontske hudebni publikum poprve slyselo koncert vyhradne venovany hudbe Vitezslavy Kapralove v podani Antonina Kubalka, Dany Campbellove, Coenraada Bloemendala a Gerarda Kantarjiana. Koncert byl organizovan spolecnosti Kapralove, ktera se rozhodla uvest hudbu nasi predcasne zemrele skladatelky do svetovych koncertnich sini. Koncert, ktery se konal pod zastitou ceskeho velvyslanectvi a jehoz se mimo jine zucastnil velvyslanec ing. Kotzy s choti, kulturni atache Radka Calabkova s manzelem a ze sponsoru pan Strapec s choti a dcerou, byl dukazem nejen nevsedniho talentu Vitezslavy Kapralove a vysoke urovne umelcu, kteri jeji hudbu provedli, ale take organizacni schopnosti Karly Hartlove. Osud hudby V. Kapralove v Torontu je v dobrych rukou. From a review by Josef Cermak for Satellite, 19 October, 2000, p.2.